TEMPLE, TX — If you live in or near Temple, chances are you’ve noticed white and black police cars patrolling the city.
Anita Coffey and Phillip Shuler, two Temple residents, sure have.
On any given day of the week, you can catch the duo walking the trails of Lions Park, a usually quiet spot.
“We haven’t noticed anything in our little area, it seems pretty quiet,” Coffey said when asked about local crime. “I don’t think our neighbors have either.”
They love to walk in the park because it’s close to their home. A place where four vehicle burglaries were reported to the Temple Police Department recently.
“We’re always concerned about that type of activity, so we try to keep an eye out as much as we can,” Shuler explained.
Those four burglaries aren’t the only incidents the police are asking the community's help for.
There’s also been a drive-by shooting, four other vehicle burglaries on the 20 block of Old Waco Road and reports of shots fired near Miller Park.
“We actually saw a rise in crime last year, a rise in violent crime, and across the central Texas region, I think we see that almost daily, that there's a shooting or, or a homicide investigation that's going on,” police Chief Shawn Reynolds said. “There's a number of factors that play into that, but what we're trying to do is prevent that from ever happening again.”
This year, the number of violent crimes increased by 5% from this time last year according to records obtained by 25 News.
The records show slight increases in crimes like murder, rape and aggravated assault, but fewer property crimes.
In an effort to reduce and prevent these situations, Chief Reynolds is asking for the community’s help.
“Somebody out there has a key in any of our investigations that we just need that one lead to break the case wide open,” he said.
However, the crimes they do solve is appreciated by many of Temple’s own.
“I have been very impressed with him, and what he's done,” Coffey said when asked about Chief Reynolds. “I'm just grateful for what we have.”
Chief Shawn Reynolds advises anyone in the community that may know of any leads to any open investigations, to reach out to the Bell County Crime Stoppers or to their department.